Treasure Trove: David Matlow looks at ‘Srulik’, a little boy from Israel’s early days

Srulik is the creation of Kariel Gardosh (1921-2000), known by his pen name “Dosh”, who was a political cartoonist, journalist, author and illustrator. Dosh immigrated to Israel from Hungary after surviving the Second World War. 

Srulik (once a popular nickname for boys named Yisrael) is a cartoon character of a young sabra (Israeli-born) boy who first appeared in 1951. He is a visual representation in human form of Israel and the Jewish people in their homeland, wearing a kova tembel (pioneer’s hat), sandals and shorts. Srulik is the antithesis of the antisemitic caricatures historically drawn of Jews, and has been described as an icon of Israel in the same way that Uncle Sam symbolizes the United States. 

At this time of great internal conflict in Israel, Srulik takes us back to Israel’s early days and founding ethos, and reminds us that Israel in its 75 years has overcome great challenges, and will continue to do so.